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Qatar ‘Dismantles’ Kafala Employment System That Critics Say Allowed Abuse of Migrant Staff

Qatar ‘Dismantles’ Kafala Employment System That Critics Say Allowed Abuse of Migrant Workers


(DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) — New labor guidelines within the energy-rich nation of Qatar “successfully dismantles” the nation’s long-criticized “kafala” employment system, a U.N. labor physique mentioned Sunday.

The Worldwide Labor Group mentioned as of now, migrant staff can change jobs earlier than the tip of their contracts with out acquiring the permission of their present employers.

Qatar additionally has adopted a minimal month-to-month wage of 1,000 Qatari riyals ($275) for staff, which can take impact some six months after the regulation is revealed within the nation’s official gazette, the ILO mentioned. The minimal wage rule requires employers to pay allowances for housing and meals as effectively in the event that they don’t present these for his or her staff.

Amnesty Worldwide praised the transfer as “an encouraging signal that Qatar might lastly be on course,” though employers nonetheless can file felony expenses towards “absconding” workers, which means those that left their jobs with out permission.

“We name on Qatar to go additional with these reforms, together with eradicating the cost of absconding, to ensure that the rights of all staff are totally protected,” Amnesty official Steve Cockburn mentioned in an announcement.

Qatar, whose residents get pleasure from one of many world’s highest per-capita incomes resulting from its pure fuel reserves, partially ended the “kafala” system in 2018. That system ties staff to their employers, who had say over whether or not they may go away their jobs and even the nation.

Qatar is being remodeled by a constructing growth fueled by its huge oil and pure fuel wealth. Like different energy-rich Gulf nations with comparatively small native populations, Qatar depends on effectively over one million visitor staff, lots of them drawn from South Asian nations together with India and Nepal. Rights activists lengthy have criticized the “kafala” system as permitting abuses of these international staff.

This comes as Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup within the Arabian Peninsula nation. Having the successful bid for the soccer match introduced renewed consideration to laborers’ rights in Qatar.

In the meantime Sunday, the United Arab Emirates introduced it now requires non-public employers to grant new fathers 5 paid days off after the start of a kid.